Since you're here, you probably know that Welcome to Loud City exists. And if you don't live under a rock, you probably know that Daily Thunder exists as well. But what about the smaller Thunder blogs, that might fly a little bit more under the radar? This is the second post in a two part series that takes a look at two smaller Thunder blogs that both offer something unique to the Thunder blog-o-sphere.
Today, we've brought in Alex R, who runs the nowthatsthunderbasketball blog over at nowthatsthunderbasketball.wordpress.com. You might know him as RicanThunder from the OKC Thunder Fans Forums, AlexR44 on Twitter, or as the Thunder correspondent for HoopsTalkNation. Much like Ed Kleese, his blogging incorporates general thoughts about the Thunder with personal stories. But, rather than Ed, he focuses moreso on broader Thunder issues rather than individual games, and he meshes in his stories with his analysis of the Thunder.
Here's an example taken from his most recent post, On the Road Again:
I'm a child of the late 80's / early 90's. It was during that time that I was in elementary school learning, as most of the world was, about computers. And, of course, the best way to learn is to interactively play games that also teach you about the subject matter. My favorite games to play on those old floppy-disc induced Apple computers was Oregon Trail.
You and your fellow settlers can die from a range of maladies from drowning to snake bites to dysentery. Needless to say, it is a game about the difficulties of being on the road.
Many teams in this young strike shortened season are probably looking at their road records and wondering whether the entire team is suffering from a bout of cholera. Of the 30 teams in the NBA, only 6 have a winning record on the road. While most teams struggle on the road in any given season, shortened or not, the upper echelon teams usually buck that trend and win wherever they play. Such has not been the case this season.
Much like Alex, I have fond memories of Oregon Trail, so it's a joy to see it incorporated into a story so smoothly. I messaged Alex a couple of days ago asking for an interview, which he kindly obliged. Here are his responses to my questions:
1. How did you get into blogging?
Initially it was just a bit of curiosity. I kept hearing about blogging and kept seeing people pop on the okcthunderfans.com forum promoting their blogs. Then I realized that we had a blog page on this site, so I asked Betts (the owner of the site) about posting on there. She gave me the keys to the car (blog), and I started blogging for the site. I would mostly do pre-game and post game stuff and then I would sprinkle in a couple personal pieces. Then I started doing research on getting my own blog site. That's when I created nowthatsthunderbasketball.wordpress.com, and I've been posting on their since.
2. There seem to be two approaches to running a blog: One involves writing like a journalist, and one involves writing with the voice of a fan. Which approach do your prefer? Or do you lie somewhere in the middle?
I think my style lies somewhere in the middle. I've never been a journalist. I've never received any formal training (outside of college English) for journalism. But, I think, over the years, I've developed my own voice and my own style of writing. Since I don't have objectivity holding me down, I think I mainly write as a fan, but I try to write in a journalistic style. I try to remain as objective as possible, but sometimes my Thunder-colored glasses won't allow me to see the obvious.
Below: The Rest of the Interview!
3. Do you intend to compete with the bigger Thunder Blogs like Daily Thunder and WTLC, or do you want to carve your own niche audience?
I'm not really in this for competition. I love reading Daily Thunder, WTLC, and all the other Thunder-related blogs and forums. The more perspectives I can get on the Thunder, the better. They do things that I really don't have time to do or have time to understand. For example, sometimes Royce Young will write an article that talks about advanced stats and sabermetrics. I couldn't tell you how Russell's total usage affected his team's points per possession while Ibaka, Durant, Harden, and Perkins were on the floor together. But they could. And that's the good thing about having multiple Thunder sites (blogs and forums). The ability to discuss the team with differing opinions and differing perspectives. Plus, I really don't have time to turn this into a full time job. I have two of those already, plus a family. This is my hobby, and I don't mind doing it for free. If I ever feel overwhelmed, I'll just cut the cord on this thing and go back to being an observer. That I'm actually getting a little bit of attention for my blog is just icing on the cake.
4. What's the number one reason to go to your blog?
Number 1 reason to go to my site is to get more perspective on the Thunder. I think I write from a different viewpoint since I never really received any formal journalistic writing training. I write from the internal voice in my head, and sometimes that bad boy is not so grammatically correct. But I write from the heart, which pumps nothing by Thunder blue. When we are in season, I'm everything Thunder. When it is the offseason, I'm depressed for about a month after the season ends. My hope is that I can be a voice for the everyday fan.
5. Who's your favourite Thunder player and why?
Favorite Thunder player? That's such a loaded question. I really love the entire team. Every season you adopt the guys that are wearing the Thunder uniform. Luckily for us, we've had mostly the same cast of characters for the past 3 years. I think I love the qualities of our players more than the players themselves. Players come and go. But their qualities stand the test of time. Westbrook's fearlessness. Durant's clutchness. Perk's toughness. Harden's smoothness. Maynor's calmness. Reggie's naivete. Collison's veteran leadership. Ibaka's tenacity.
6. How far will the Thunder go this season?
I think the farthest we'll go is to Bricktown.......while we're throwing a parade!!!!!!!!!!
7. Anything else you might want to add?
Thanks for the support. I'm also the Thunder correspondent/blogger for HoopsTalkNation on www.thebreakdownshow.com with Dave Mendonca and Audley Stephenson. You can hear my podcast debut on there. Follow me on Twitter at @AlexR44 #ThunderUP!!!!!
Huge thanks go out to Alex for the interview, and definitely make sure to check out his blog over at nowthat'sthunderbasketball.wordpress.com.